Wednesday, September 26, 2012


My lovely Josephine, you are now three years old.  And what a delight you are.

I can now say that I no longer have any children in diapers, because after months and months of resisting, you decided about a month and a half ago that you were ready to use the potty.  You totally could have done it before then, but as with everything else, you were going to do it on your own time and your own terms, and you did.

But beyond that, you are revealing yourself to be a real mensch.  You don't have a best friend at school.  You're friends with everyone.  You are friendly and sweet and concerned for one and all -- if someone falls down and gets an owie, or is just having a sad day, you are the first to give them a hug and comfort them and say, "it's going to be OK."
Having fun (and getting cupcake face) at your party with your friends of all ages.
 You never, ever have a bad day.  You're always happy and affectionate and adaptable to whatever the situation is.  You're game for anything and a big fan of adventure.

I love the relationship you have with your brother.  The two of you occasionally bicker, but most of the time you love playing together.  You praise his accomplishments ("Zekey, that was an awesome throw") and he shows you how to play the various games on the iPad. You share your toys and are willing to cede the TV even when it's your turn to pick what you want to watch, when you see that Zeke has a strong preference or is having a rough day.  I love listening to the two of you talk in the dark as you lie in bed at night. 

I also love how self-assured and yes, occasionally bossy, you are.  Though I'm capable of standing my own ground, it's always nice having a pint-sized enforcer to back up my decisions.  I don't remember the last time I laughed as hard as when you were yelling up the stairs at Zeke, "ZEKEY!  GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM!  IT'S NOT A PLAYGROUND!  IT'S JUST A BATHROOM! IT'S NOT FOR PLAYING! IT'S FOR POOPING AND PEEING AND TAKING A BATH!"

You are my sweetest little snuggle-bug.  I'll frequently wake up with you having crawled into my bed during the night, all warm and cozy and pressed against my back.  I love that you ask for big hugs and kisses all the time.  I love that you'll just randomly say, "love you, Mama" when the mood strikes.

Because I sure do love you.  To the moon and back, my little monkey-bean.

Love, Mama

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake, and the Colorado Rocky Mountain high...

I looked at Josie the other day and couldn't believe how angular and leggy she suddenly looks to me.  She's tall for her age (God knows how that happened) and yet still very thin (she'll be 3 in a few weeks and is still under 30 pounds), and she's all knees and elbows and skinny limbs. 

And Zeke is looking more and more like a kid -- no more baby fat, and he's so smart and articulate that sometimes I have to remind myself that he's still a little boy.

They are so much fun right now. 

We went up to the mountains for Labor Day weekend and stayed in a friend's condo.  The kids love being in the mountains.  The more time we spend outside, the better.

So we played at one of those funky playgrounds that are all climb-y and European in design.

And we went canoeing on Lake Dillon, and made a couple of stops to swim and throw rocks. 

And goof off with the panorama feature on the camera.

After doing P90X, I can flex in three places at once.
It was great until we were heading back to the dock and a storm blew in.  The temperature dropped about 20 degrees, the wind started whipping, and it was pelting rain.  J and I paddled our asses off to battle the wind and the current -- I'm surprised our arms didn't fall off.

The kids were freezing and tired, so we went back to the condo for a nap. 

Then we went back outside to go exploring.

The entrance to an old silver mine.  Josie assured me that while there were spiders in there, there were no monsters.
We went home the next day tired but happy.  And excited to get back up there during ski season.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Something that happened

My father's mother, who was my last living grandparent, died last night.

The news was only shocking because she has been living in the same reduced state for so long that it almost felt like she was somehow immune to the laws of biology that govern the rest of us.  But she was 96 (or thereabouts), and had been languishing in a nursing home for ages.  Just lying in a bed, not moving, not speaking, not interacting with anyone.

The saddest part about it is that no one is particularly sad. 

She was not a nice person, not a loving mother, and a friendly if mostly unengaged grandmother (at least to me).  My dad checked out of the relationship decades ago.  I continued to call her on a regular basis up until about 5 or 6 years ago, mostly out of a sense of obligation, because she never had anything much to say to me.  But then she decided that she wasn't interested in engaging in life or in having any role in her own care, so she just stopped.  Stopped moving, stopped taking care of herself, stopped doing anything but sit and watch TV or stare into space.  Her muscles atrophied to the point that she was incapable of getting up or doing anything for herself, so she spent the last years of her life lying down and doing nothing.  She squandered her considerable assets on hiring live-in caregivers who sat in her kitchen watching soap operas and then left with her silver and other valuables in their handbags. 

I asked my dad if he wanted me to come to Detroit for the service, but he said, no, it's expensive and unnecessary.  I asked him if he was OK, and he said he was fine.

When I was talking to my mom about it, she lamented that it seemed horrible that no one would really mourn her. 

But I guess if you're going to be nasty and shitty to people your whole life, there's the rub.  You're not going to get much more than a passing thought when you die.

I feel weird about it.  It feels weird to no longer having any living grandparents.  I feel sad that I don't feel sadder. 

I think I'll go home and be super-nice to my kids.